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on September 17, 2012
I've been an iPad user since the original came out. I also have an iPad 3. I have worked in IT for the past few years so I would say I am pretty good with technology and fancy new devices. With that introduction out of the way, I will be reviewing key points that I have seen touched upon in other reviews. Here goes...

BUILD
The device feels nice and solid. I'm a little surprised at how heavy it is, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The rubberized backing is always nice for added grip. It's not as nice as say unibody aluminum, but it's not $500 either.

SCREEN
The screen is fantastic. But my problem is the same as when iPad got Retina Display, other than the OS, most apps look rather pixelated. A lot of the games I tried are not high definition, at least not high enough to look smooth on this screen. Hopefully apps get updated to higher resolutions.

LOCK SCREEN ADS
Yeah there are ads on my lock screen. I'm not sure why this is such a big deal. How much time do people really spend looking at the lock screen? The first thing I thought when I saw the ads is WOW the pictures are really crisp! The ads are there to subsidize some of the $200 price tag. I might pay the $15 to get rid of them so I can customize it, but I might not. I feel like this has been blown out of proportion by other customers.

SOUND
The sound from the speakers is great. Much better than you would get from more expensive devices, very crisp and clean. I have the official Amazon case on and it has not affected the sound at all. Nothing much else to say, I doubt anyone will complain about this.

CRASHING
I've had two apps crash on opening. I don't know if it is the app or the OS. It's probably somewhere in the middle. Again, not a big deal for me. If it crashes, then I just tap it again and it works. I've also watched a few movies using the built in player as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime. No crashes for me at all. I'm sure OS stability will be improved as time goes on.

OVERALL SATISFACTION
Compared to my iPad 3, obviously the Fire HD is not as "good" so to speak. I mainly got it because I wanted something smaller. I also mainly used the iPad to surf the web, watch videos, and play some simple games. The Fire HD accomplishes this and does so much more. If you are expecting an iPad killer, or a desktop replacement, or a productivity machine, then you should look elsewhere.

I bought this to be a media device, and I believe that is what Amazon meant this to be. In this regard, I think this is a great device. In fact, I decided to keep this and sell my iPad 3, which will give me another $200+ to spend on other things. Just remember, this device is not for everyone. If you want a media device, you will be happy with this. Do not expect an iPad for $200.

UPDATE 9/18/12
Just wanted to add a few more things I have noticed over the past 24 hours.

- Power/Volume Buttons: There are a bit hard to press, which is somewhat alleviated by having the official case. Maybe it's because I'm a longtime iPad user, but this will definitely take some getting used to.

- Screen Glare: It took me a little while to notice, but I was playing a Seek & Find game while on Caltrain, with the bright Palo Alto sun shining right on me, and didn't have any trouble seeing the screen. I remembered that Amazon mentioned how the screen was changed to reduce glare, and they did an amazing job.

UPDATE 9/20/12
Two days later and I am still very happy with the device. Here are some more thoughts from me:

BATTERY LIFE
I have been playing Enigmatis (a hidden object game) for about an hour and a half each day on my commute. This drains about 15 - 20% of the battery with the screen brightness almost at the highest setting. Again, not iPad gold standard, but still very good.

SYNCING MUSIC
I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and used an app called Easy Phone Transfer to get all my music from iTunes onto the phone. It transferred everything, including album covers, and I was hoping to find something like that for this device. I tried iSyncr, a $3 app, which did the job, but did not sync over album covers. I uploaded all my music into the Cloud, then downloaded it from Amazon, which increased the audio quality for a lot of my songs and added artwork, but this still did not show up on the device.

I got very frustrated getting all the album artwork over and eventually just gave up. It's not a big deal but I am kind of anal about those kinds of things. Just a heads up if anyone else out there is crazy about it like I am.

UPDATE 09/21/12
I got a call from Amazon Customer Service about this review, which surprised me very much. They advised me the best way to get the artwork to show up is have the songs in both the Cloud Player as well as the device, which I know does work fine. I was hoping to have the artwork show without needing things in the Cloud, but not a big deal any more.

I am more impressed with the fact that Amazon called me to give me advice on how to remedy the situation and ask if there were any other questions I had on the Kindle. The representative said he wanted to make sure I was happy with the Fire HD. This is one of the big reasons I went with the Kindle, and with Amazon in general. I have had great experiences with their customer service, who have always been able to handle my issues quickly and efficiently. No need to set up an appointment days later with a wannabe IT guy with a hugely overstated job title.

So this update is not really for the device itself, but sometimes it's not just the device, it's the company that offers it that makes a difference. This is why I no longer have any Apple devices, as cool as they may be. But it's not 100% gravy, as I have noticed lately that the keyboard keeps popping up randomly on screens where there is nowhere to enter text, ie. while playing a game. I just have to press the Back arrow to get rid of it, but maybe a bug the Amazon engineers want to take a look at.

UPDATE 10/05/12
So I don't know if it was always there, but over this past weekend I noticed a dead pixel on my Kindle's screen. I called Kindle Support and after a short 5 minute call, they sent me a new Kindle, no questions asked. So once again, very happy with Amazon customer service. I am still very happy with the device, and have some more thoughts on it:

HDMI CONNECTION
I bought an HDMI cable to hook up the Fire to my 46" Samsung and was quite impressed with the results. The quality was very good, not Bluray quality of course, but better than SDTV on an HD screen. You actually see every single thing you do on the big screen, like you are using a giant Kindle.

GOOGLE PLAY APPS
One of the main drawbacks in my opinion is, or should I say was, the lack of all the Google Play apps available on the Kindle. With a little research, I found out how to add apps that are not available in the Amazon store. It is pretty easy to do and works very well with the apps I tried. This greatly improves my opinion of the Fire HD.

PLASTIC AROUND THE SCREEN
The outer most edges of the Kindle are plastic. I noticed some kind of discoloration on the corner of mine, and just thought it was some dirt to scratch off. So I rubbed my thumb nail on the area, and noticed there were visible marks on the plastic. It appears this plastic can scratch some what easily, but I think this is just cosmetic as not of the plastic actually flaked. If you are not very anal about how your stuff looks, you probably won't notice it.

OS CHANGES
Here are two small gripes I have with the OS that I'm sure could be fixed with an OS update:

- Battery Meter: It would be nice if the battery meter could show percentage instead of just a graphic bar. Some people have mentioned Battery HD, but you still have to swipe down to see the percentage, so this makes it easier but does not solve the issue I had.

- Personal Videos: The mp4 videos I put on the device are located in the "Personal Videos" app, which shows screen shots of all the videos I put in. The problem is, all that is shown are the screen shots. You can get more info by holding your finger down on each video, but when you have multiple seasons of a show on the Kindle, it can get confusing. Ideally we should be able to look at videos in a list like our music.

UPDATE 11/15/12
Still very happy with the device. Here are some more thoughts:

LEFT HAND MODE
I did't think this would be a problem until I played a Solitaire game that DID have a left-handed mode. As a lefty who usually uses the Fire in landscape, I often have to reach across the screen to access the Settings or Home button in the menu. It's a small grievance, but can be really annoying when watching a movie or reading something. If there was an option for a left-handed layout with the menus on the left side of the device, that would be great.

PERSONAL VIDEOS APP
I had earlier complained about this app, as it did not list my movies and crashed playing a pair of them. I recently drove down to LA from SF, and put 5 movies on device, only to find that 4 of them would not play! I was pretty mad, until I remembered a simple solution, download another app. I downloaded Avia Media Player, which is not the greatest either, but it played all the movies I put on the Kindle. My faith was restored.

GOOGLE PLAY APPS
A lot of people have asked how to do this. If you are not having luck with Google searches, try this:

[...]
5150+ comments| 31,421 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
An Amazon.com official commented on the review below
on September 17, 2012
I have been an Amazon customer for years having owned the first gen Kindle and currently the 6" Kindle. I have purchased the 1st gen Fires for my children for Christmas last year and I have purchased both the touch and 1st Fire for my father.

I already own an Ipad and did not feel the need to own a Fire, since I believe they duplicated the same purpose. I did however place an order for the Paperwhite, but after thinking about it, why not own a full functional device that is more than just an ereader.

I love the eInk displays and how light the regular Kindles are. One of my main gripes about tables are that they are heavier and you cant read the screen in bright daylight. I'm not really sure why the daylight is such a big deal for me, since I probably only read outside when I'm on vacation (2x a year).

Anyway, I cancelled the Paperwhite and ordered the Fire HD. I love it. It is portable, I never take my Ipad anywhere, just too big. I uploaded my entire music library from Itunes to Amazon Cloud, (so much for being locked down Apple!) and of course all of my books are on it. I regularly borrow books from my local library and was often frustrated that when I was away from home I could not search for books on my regular Kindle, becuase the experimental browser was just not functional enough.

The sound is amazing as everyone has said, as well as the display. No need to go into detail about what everyone else said. My only gripe is that the touch screen is not really as responsive as I would like, but it still works fine. The display does cut the reflection and you can read out doors. That is not to say there is no glare, it's just not an unreadable LCD screen any longer.

As far as the ads go, I don't find them obtrusive. I like knowing what other people bought or may have looked at. What's the big deal? If your friends recommend something to you, do you get mad? Same thing here to me.

I like that I can sync my email and now, actually use the Prime streaming video service. Yes, I know I could use the app on my Ipad, but like I said, I like it all packaged neatly here.

My only question is how many HD movies/TV shows can you download to the device? I like to download them when I travel and delete when I get home.

If you are an Amazon user, you should know that this tablet is no different that any other device (Apple?) that tries to get you completely integrated into their system. Should not really be a surprise to anyway that all of the shopping experiences point to Amazon.

I am pleased to have a tablet that is portable and easy to use.

Great job Amazon.

My word to the rest of the "reviewers" don't actually own the product, but write reviews on products that you don't own, to grip about a feature you read about. It's silly and clutters the reviews for those of us that actually like reading what other people are saying about a product.

**Update 10/1/2012**

After having my fire for a few weeks I still have very few complaints. I pretty much carry it with me whenever I am out of the house. I love having the option to read or if there way available wi-fi watch a movie. I wish it came with 4G but I bet it would make the price out of line with other small tablets.

The only cons I have is the typing experiences. It seems there is not predicitive text for the Silk browser which makes typing a little tough. I hear though there will be an update.

I dislike fingerprints on the screen when reading, but easily remedied with s soft cloth.

I have read 3 books and I am on my 4th and the screen is no issue whatsoever. This was my biggest concern before purchasing. I have no issue whatsoever. Just so you know, I read a lot and love the Eink Kindles, so this was an experiment to see if I could read for long periods of time with no eyestrain. Not an issue at all.

All in all I still love it. I have not used my Ipad since getting my fire.
5150+ comments| 7,527 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on October 7, 2012
I purchased the Kindle Fire HD after returning a Lenovo Idea Pad. I have also had experience with iPads. Having said that, the Kindle Fire HD is an exceptional value for the money. The screen is FANTASTIC. Glare is kept to a minimum, colors a bright and vibrant, text is clear and easily read, movies look phenomenal in HD. Also, the sound quality and volume is bar-none for a device this size. The touch screen is responsive and shortcuts like tapping, double tapping, and pinch zoom work great. The size, weight and thickness are great for portability. It is easily slipped into the interior pocket of a jacket and takes up little room in a backpack. The weight and size makes it easy to hold with just one hand and the rubberized back panel is great for grip. The amazon store provides an almost unlimited supply, of books, movies, tv shows, music, magazines, and newspapers that is only improved with a subscription to amazon prime.
Now, for the negatives. The power button and volume rocker are tough to find as they are flush with device and provide little tactile feedback when looking for them. I solved this problem by putting a thin strip of colored tape on the side of the device that has these buttons. The Amazon app store is very limited when compared to the full android app store. Hopefully the app library will only grow with the device's popularity. Apps from the full android store can be "side loaded" in a few easy steps but please be aware that not all apps will work with the kindle. Lastly, the "carousel" home screen is about as useful as a spoon is for cutting steak. Say you are finished reading a magazine and want to switch to another app, when you go back to the home screen, the magazine you just read and are done with is the first thing you see. It makes it very hard to find and switch between apps. I am glad, however that they included a favorites section where you can store your most-used apps. The sliding top menu is also very well organized and makes it easy to find games, books, apps, and more. My last problem is that there is no expandable memory. 16 gigs is a lot but if you have a large music or video library, space quickly becomes limited. I guess this is remedied by the cloud but that is only available when wifi is.
Overall, the Kindle is a great value for the money, I find myself using it and loving more each day. It has a WONDERFUL screen, operates smoothly and is durable, portable and ultimately tons of fun!
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For a media device, there are three things I look for:
1. Ease of getting to media
2. How it looks (if video)
3. How it sounds

I give the 7" Fire HD top marks in all three categories.

When I first turned on the Fire HD it went through a short set up. It already knew who I was and connected to my account. It also saw my wireless network and I simply had to provide the password, and the set up was good to go.

Getting to the Home screen, the device started to show me books and so forth that are connected to my account. I popped into the book Shop and searched for Edgar Rice Burroughs. I selected a few of his public domain works and tapped Buy (they were free). They downloaded right away.

Next I visited the video section and looked up Iron Man 2, since I know it is free with my Prime account. I selected it to watch. It started playing immediately and I watched about the first 20 minutes. Sound was good, and watching the HD version provided a crisp picture. Colors are rich. There are no washed out faces. Fast motion sequences did not seem "draggy". The movie displayed at its correct aspect ratio, which means that it was letterboxed a bit on the Fire HD in landscape orientation. This was fine with me, as I want to see the entire movie image. When I left the movie and came back later, it picked up playing exactly where I had left off. Definitely top marks here.

Now it was time to check out music. I tapped Music and saw some albums I'd purchased. I played a couple of songs from them and they sounded fine, but neither of those albums were true tests of the Fire HD speakers. I had my Kindle DX USB cable handy, and it plugged into the Fire HD and connected immediately to my computer. I put it in storage device mode, navigated to the Music folder, and opened up my music folder in Windows 7. I just dragged folders containing albums into the Fire HD's music folder and they immediately showed up on the Fire. If the folder contained an album image, I got the album cover in the display.

With a few albums copied over, it was time to put the sound to the test, and I was quite pleased with the results. First, the Fire HD has stereo speakers. They aren't very far apart, of course, but they have more separation than any mini-speakers you might hook up to it. I tried "Jets" from Wings, "Do You Feel Like We Do" from Frampton Comes Alive, "The William Tell Overture" with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and "The 1812 Overture" with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony. Bass was better than I expected it to be. Was it deep and resonant? Of course not. However, it wasn't embarrassingly distorted or just missing, either. The really good news were the high tones. They sounded virtually flawless. Even with the sound all the way up there was no distortion, which I've never experienced out of small speakers like this before. Flutes sounded like they were in the room ... always a good sign. And unlike most smaller speakers, the sound was good for a nice distance away. On many smaller speakers I've used, even good ones, the sound seems to peter out only a few feet away. I could hear this sound strongly in the next room.

Just like on an iPad, the music keeps playing if you do other things, unless you hit an app which wants to play sound.

Just a hint, to get to the device's settings, swipe down from the very top of the screen. There you can set up other wireless networks, see the memory usage, power left, and all the other tablet device settings you are used to. You can access the settings from within anything, and then just use the Back arrow to return to your app, as I did from the Kindle eBook app. As another hint, you'll find the Bluetooth settings under the Wireless menu.

Speaking of the Kindle eBook App, this may be a recent development on all versions of it (I usually use my DX to read, not a backlit tablet device with the Kindle app) but I was surprised to see an option for a black background with white letters. I tried that and it seems easier on my eyes than the white or even the sepia backgrounds. I'm going to try it for a while and see what I think. There was also a wider variety of font styles than I remember. I chose Baskerville, a somewhat narrow serifed font. I have the old school notion that a serifed font helps the eyes scan across a line.

So I've started reading "At the Earth's Core" while listening to more Tchaikovsky from the Dutoit album. I've continued to enjoy the presentation of the music, and since classical is among the most demanding forms of music when looking for a full and pleasing sound, that is a very good sign. I've stopped "auditioning" the music, and started to just naturally enjoy it.

Certainly getting eBooks from Amazon is seamless, but what about eBooks from third party sources? Transferring those books to the Fire HD might take a bit of finesse until you get the concepts down pat. I first used Calibre and transferred some books I downloaded from Project Gutenberg. It placed them in the Documents folder of the Fire HD, which is fine. However, you won't see them in the Fire's menu until you turn the device off and back on. Secondly, very plain files like this just show up as the text from the first page, displayed as the book cover type icon. You can't tell what they are in many cases. Select Books from the top menu, and then tap the List icon on the right. That way you'll get a vertical list of the books which displays the book title and the author's name.

(Note: I had not upgraded Calibre in a while, and had to update it to the latest version before it saw the Fire HD. So if you plug in your Fire HD via USB cable and don't see an active "Transfer to Device" button in Calibre, that's what you need to do too).

This Fire HD came with about a 60% charge. It went down for a while as I watched Iron Man 2, but began to charge very slowly once I plugged it into the USB while playing with music files.

So far I haven't come across anything on this device that I don't like. I haven't kept up with iPad releases, so I'm still on my version one iPad. I like this device easily as well, now that it has been upgraded to include Bluetooth and other comparable features.

Highly recommended.
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on December 21, 2012
I'm going to first start off by saying I compared this to my 16GB iPad Mini, nothing more, nothing less. They are in the same league but definitely different levels and for different audiences.

PROS
------
*PRICE: The price is just simply amazing for what you get at $200.

*BUILD: This thing is built with quality and durability in mind.

*SCREEN: Although not full HD, the screen is simply amazing and EASILY beats the iPad Mini's screen.

*SOUND: Dual Dolby Stereo speakers located on the back of the tablet opposed to the bottom like the iPad Mini's. The speakers on this easily out do the iPad Mini's in every way.

*AMAZON INTEGRATION: Being able to seamlessly have Amazon content including but not limited to Kindle Books, MP3, Instant Video, Amazon.com, etc is just awesome, especially if you're an Amazon Prime member.

*SIZE: I do prefer the .9-inch bigger screen size of the iPad Mini, but the Kindle 7" HD makes up for that .9" in screen resolution compared to the iPad Mini's non-HD resolution.

CONS
------
The cons are simple here for me, the lack of games and apps of coarse. Apple's iOS ecosystem is just simply amazing and I love it. Being able to sync across other Apple devices via iCloud and Apple Apps is just the butter on the bread for me. However, if you are looking to mainly read books/magazines, browse the web on the go, watch Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, shop and play a limited selection of games then the Kindle HD is definitely a force to be reckoned with, ESPECIALLY at $199.

In the end, if you're on a tight budget, aren't an Apple iOS fan or simply just need to do very basic tasks, the Kindle HD is a great choice and is a great tablet but still isn't on par with even a lower hardware spec Apple iPad Mini.
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on June 3, 2017
Loved it at first, but over the years the short-comings are disappointing. First, let me say that this is a rugged tablet with great audio and video. Battery lasts about 4 hours.

The cons: no ability to update apps or OS. I know this because my Samsung phone updates apps all the time, while my tablet never does.
There is no expansion slot for storage. In addition, it will not recognize a usb drive to transfer data.
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on October 15, 2012
I love my kindle fire HD, so I just wanted to add another five star review here. As long as you understand what you are getting, it is a five star product. It is not a replacement for your laptop or even an ipad (despite Amazon's misguided marketing tactics that suggest otherwist). I would rather my tools to be very, very good at doing one thing than mediocre at doing several. The Kindle Fire HD is excellent as a media consumption device, which is exactly what I want. Having FUN. You can write emails and set up calendars; it works, but you will be more efficient on your laptop. You can read a million reviews completely walking through this device, so I will just put my biggest pro and biggest con here:

Biggest Pro: The display is simply stunning. Vibrant, smooth HD. You WILL get admirers when you boot this thing up in public. The speakers are also surprisingly high quality. Gawd, I think I'm going home early to watch movies.

Biggest Com: The app store is kind of...limited. Don't expect to get access to a full suite of google play store/android stuff. The apps are also organized poorly and it isn't always clear what is for kindle hd and what isn't. Also, sometimes you will have to shell out about 3 bucks for kindle fire hd-specific apps that are usually free on other platforms. Oh well. Angry birds never looked so good. Also, just avoid buying apps on your laptop and then downloading them from the cloud. I had to wait several hours for my order to 'process' (???). Purchases are instant if you do it directly on the kindle.

Also...you really need to buy an amazon prime membership if you are going to buy this. Just do it. Not having a prime membership probably would cut this down to a four star product (maybe...4.5!!)

Get one and have fun!

EDIT I have to reduce this item to three stars because of the following...1) Poor quality of the silk browser. It is beyond comprehension why so many people are having trouble with Youtube. Absolute insanity. 2) No camera app built in. Again, beyond comprehension. I cant imagine what reason there is for this. 3) The app store is really, really limited. Even more than I thought it would be. Honestly, I am starting to wonder if I should have gone with an ipad mini...just having a great display isnt enough amazon.
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on December 16, 2012
I've looked forward to the purchase of the Kindle Fire HD 7" 32 GB since it was introduced by Amazon. I took delivery about two weeks ago, and I wasn't disappointed. As a matter of fact this product has exceeded all of my expectations. I'm a long time Kindle keyboard user, and I'm very satisfied with it too. I expected the Kindle Fire to be an enhanced version of the keyboard. I couldn't have been more wrong. While it may not be able to compete heads up with the Apple I-Pad it's proven itself to be a competent competitor. Web surfing is very good. I logged on to my home page, and I now have my home page from my laptop displayed on the Kindle. All of my bookmarks still work. I'm very pleased because I wasn't expecting this feature. I've seen a lot of complaints about the difficulty finding the power button. This isn't a problem if you use a case with the auto off/ on feature when you open the cover. I've seen complaints about the ads on the lock screen. Not a concern to me because I don't spend anytime on the lock screen. Well maybe a little more then usual. The graphics are so good I find myself admiring them instead of unlocking the screen. Some of the ads are useful, I like the way they are linked directly to the product page. This really makes shopping easy. The HD resolution is amazing. The speakers are great. I appreciated the fact that I could upload all of my music to cloud, and play it on the Fire HD. The screen is about as glare resistance as it can be. It is very smudge resistant. I just wipe mine down with a microfiber cloth when I put it on the charger, and it looks like it just came out of the box. Some have complained about the weight. I'm a big guy with big hands so having an ounce more weight then a competitive e reader is insignificant to me. The build quality is superior. This thing is built like a tank, and I expect years of trouble free service from it. I've seen some users complain of pixelation, and lag time. This has not been evident on my unit. All images are crisp, and clean. If you play a video game, watch a video, surf the web, check your e-mail, or read a book you'll come away from that experience with a feeling of great satisfaction. In summary I have purchased a superior e-reader that makes a good case that it can sub as a competent alternative to my laptop. One last thing. My girl friend has a Nook Tablet. She loves it. She is not aware of the fact that my choices for Amazon content is far superior to what she has available for her Nook through Barnes and Noble. The only complaint that I have is that the USB charger didn't come in the box. With the great satisfaction that I feel from this purchase it almost makes me feel as though I'm nit picking. Great Job Amazon. I will recommend this product to anyone.
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on December 18, 2012
I've had my 7" Kindle Fire HD for just about a month now, and I have absolutely no regrets.

I've never owned a tablet or an e-reader, but was starting to get back onto reading fiction, something I used to do constantly, on my Motorola Droid 3. With the new Kindle line, and price structure, I started looking into them. The basic Kindle 2 was my original focus, but the Kindle Fire 2, while twice the price, was color, and so much more than just an e-reader. And then for just a little bit more, there was the HD, that had lots more then just the HD, for the price difference. I'm 'frugal', so neither of these price steps was taken lightly. I took a lot of time reading the specs and many reviews. The decision was made based on knowledge, not just an urge to own the latest, greatest. It was a rare personal splurge.

Once I decided I could justify the expense for something that did all this model could, I then started looking at the competition. It seems that the Google Nexus 7 was the alternative, and I essentially came to the same conclusion that many reviewers did: They are both great items, with great value. The right one for you depends on your intended use. If it is to be used primarily for work/business, the nod goes to the Google Nexus 7, because Amazon seems to have hobbled some functions to make the Kindle more Amazon-centric. I, on the other hand was looking more for something that had an entertainment focus: the HD screen regularly gets rave reviews from friends, the speaker system is impressive, even when the volume is turned up, and the HDMI output is something that most don't have, and which allows me to show movies on the family HD TV. While I was able to do this with my Motorola Droid 3 phone, it is so much easier with the Fire HD.

Video is a big component of such an entertainment device, and after a month's free trial, I have decided to sign up for Amazon's Prime service. In addition to a delivery rate break of future Amazon purchases, this provides access to hundreds of free videos in a variety of categories. The list isn't as extensive as, say, Netflix, but instead of $8-9 per month, the cost is $80 per year.

And books, the original motivator for this purchase, are in great supply. With the ease of publishing on the web, in addition to the classics, you'll find many new authors here. Also, unless you must have the current NY Times bestsellers, with very little effort, you should easily be able to find a huge selection of free e-books.

As to a couple of the negatives that have been brought up: The lack of a plug end on the USB/mini USB cable was not an issue for me because I just use the one that I use for my Droid phone. I can understand Amazon not including it to save on costs, but the purchase price for one if you do need it, is a bit extreme. And the Ads, that you can make go away for an extra $15 are a bit of an affront, given a device you bought is trying to sell you things, but they are not intrusive. When the unit is shut off, the screen is blank. When you turn it on (instant on), you see an add for a car, or laptop, etc. Swipe your finger to the right and you see more about the product. Swipe your finger to the left, and you an punch in your security code to start using the tablet. Assuming these ads helped keep the cost of the Kindle down, I think the trade is fair.

As a 'give' to it's supporters, Amazon might want to consider automatic removal of the ads, a year after the item was purchased. Surely the ads would have paid for themselves after a year, and I'm sure this would address some of the animosity felt toward the ads.
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on July 30, 2016
My Kindle is vary excellent, but the reason I gave it a four stars is because it did not come with a full owner's manual and the HDMI cable to hook it to other devices I have. I also realized that it have one of those cheap connector jacks that can break vary easy if not carefully plugged in to where it won't hit anything or your hand hitting it if handle where the jack is located (on the side of the tablet). I have a RCA tablet and a wireless speaker both having the same female jacks where the inside card broke when the cable have too much leverage on those jacks its self. And with these two devices they been sorting out when I hook them up for charging and transporting information to the computer, I have to wiggle these cables to get a solid connection. I personally don't like this type of connection and I think its is not secure at all.
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